The Three Santas

This feature length movie of a fabulous one off concert at the North Pole in front of a live audience dressed in festive red and white ticks all the boxes to become a firm family favourite. With the familiar Christmas theme of past, present and future we have the traditional Santa (Placido Domingo), Ewan McGregor (Santa present) and teeny global sensation Justin Beiber as Santa of the future in a musical melange. A special guest appearance of Lady Gaga dressed as an outrageous Christmas fairy adds to the glam and glitz of the occasion. Bieber starts the North Pole rocking with Rocking Around the Christmas Tree in front of a lavishly decorated 100-foot Christmas tree entangled in thousands of fairy lights. I’m sure this tree could be seen from space.

McGregor (teaming up again with Luhrmann) takes over with All I want for Christmas is You and sets the older female hearts beating a little faster. Domingo then slows the pace with a smooth version of Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas. The musical score contains every Christmas classic covering all ages and moods of the season. Other surprises include a spectacular performance by Diversity dressed as toys dancing to an innovative lyrical up beat version The Dance of Sugar Plum Fairy. Santa’s animatronic reindeer also provide a very passable rendition of Walking in a Winter Wonderland as the stage is covered by falling snow.

Lurhmann also takes us behind the scenes as cast and crew prepare for the show and we are given glimpses of tempers and tantrums, which never quite reach boiling point (at least on screen).

A sensational second half gets underway with Lady Gaga being lowered from the top of the huge tree while belting out a sexy rendition of Santa Baby so hot it almost melts the huge ice sculptures on stage. Domingo and McGregor then duet with “Little Drummer Boy” as Bieber marches up and down the stage in a soldier costume to screams from his adoring fans.
The cast finale is a raucous sing along version of “Jingle Bell Rock” which has several encores and the credits roll with numerous out take clips.

This was an ambitious project but Luhrmann and the cast present a wonderful movie of a unique piece of entertainment to an enthralled audience. Costumes, music, direction and settings are superb if a little OTT in what is normally a cold, bleak landscape.

I can’t wait to see this on an Imax screen and of course the re-release next year and the year after.

By John Douglas

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